I wanted to start a new feature here called "That's What You Get." I'd try to describe it, but you should be able to figure it out after reading the first installment. At times, like this one, it may not be baseball related.
A few weeks ago the Cleveland Browns beat the Buffalo Bills in Cleveland. After the game they showed some Browns fans chanting "Su-per Bowl! Su-per Bowl!" Somebody got a little ahead of themselves because here we are, two weeks later, and the Cleveland Browns missed the playoffs. Ha ha Browns fans. That's what you get.
Happy New Year everyone! Make it a safe one. Don't pull a Leyritz.
Monday, December 31, 2007
I wanted to start a new feature here called "That's What You Get." I'd try to describe it, but you should be able to figure it out after reading the first installment. At times, like this one, it may not be baseball related.
Friday, December 28, 2007
When I logged out of my Hotmail account today, as always, I was redirected to the MSN.com homepage, where a link caught my eye. "Ex-Yankee hero charged in DUI death." If you haven't heard, Jim Leyritz was involved in a tragic accident that claimed the life of a 30-year old woman. Tragic, very tragic.
But what I want to know, other than what was Leyritz thinking, is why does he have to be labeled an "ex-Yankee" in the link? Even though most of his 11 year career was spent with the Yankees, Leyritz played for 6 teams over his 11 year career. Why couldn't the link have said, "Ex-MLB player in jail for DUI death." To me that would make more sense. Why does it always have to be about the Yankees? What else is new, right? Definitely a head-shaker.
I'll be back more regularly after the new year, when I'll give away the last of 5 Yankeeography DVD sets. Hope everyone is having a great holiday season and has a safe and health new year!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
In a statement released through his agent Randy Hendricks, Andy Pettitte has admitted to using HGH on 2 occasions in 2002. The use occurred while Andy was on the DL rehabbing an elbow injury and was looking to get back on the field to help his ballclub. This admission pretty much confirms the details of his use as outlined in the Mitchell Report. It also I'm afraid lends a lot more credence to the statements made by Brian McNamee about Roger Clemens. Things are looking worse and worse for the Rocket. Pettitte's admission does nothing to help his case. If anything, it sets him back. Way way back. It's out of here.
I applaud Pettitte for stepping up to the plate and being a man about this. I can understand why he did what he did. I honestly don't think he did it to gain a competitive edge. Andy has a reputation for being a stand-up guy. As he says in his statement, "I have tried to do things the right way my entire life, and, again, ask that you put those two days in the proper context. People that know me will know that what I say is true." Andy, I believe you.
Now I don't know the circumstances that led up to Pettitte deciding to use HGH. This is 2002 we're talking about here. It sounds like Andy got some bad advice about how to rehab that injury faster. He says in his statement, "I had heard that human growth hormone could promote faster healing for my elbow." To me it doesn't sound like he even really knew what HGH was. To me it almost sounds as if it may have been suggested to him as a means to get back on the field faster. I don't think he's going to come out and say that he did and implicate someone advising him to use HGH. Oh I dunno, like say his buddy Roger.
Andy also says in his statement, "Though it was not against baseball rules, I was not comfortable with what I was doing, so I stopped. This is it -- two days out of my life; two days out of my entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list. Everything else written or said about me knowingly using illegal drugs is nonsense, wrong and hurtful. I have the utmost respect for baseball and have always tried to live my life in a way that would be honorable. I wasn't looking for an edge; I was looking to heal. If I have let down people that care about me, I am sorry, but I hope that you will listen to me carefully and understand that two days of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and dedication."
If what Pettitte says in his statement is true, and I believe that he is, he is absolutely right about these 2 days of bad judgment not ruining his "lifetime of hard work and dedication." I can't see how anybody, even the most staunchest of Pettitte haters, can hold this against him. How can you not respect him for coming out and admitting his wrongdoing, which again at the time, wasn't even wrong? Pettitte's name doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as guys like Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, and Clemens.
As he said in his statement, "I wasn't looking for an edge; I was looking to heal."
According to an article in the New York Times, an unidentified active major leaguer cooperated with the Mitchell investigation and kept his name out of the report by convincing Senator Mitchell that he disposed of the drugs without using them. The article says that the unidentified player admitted to buying them, but offered “substantial and corroborated evidence” that he junked them without using them. I'm sorry but something is starting to smell awfully fishy.
In my opinion, excluding this player from the "report" shows a complete lack of integrity on Mitchell's part. The player admits to buying PEDs from Radomski. Radomski admits to selling them to him. Regardless of whether or not he used them isn't the point. Mitchell had no proof that any player mentioned used them. Yet those names were included in the report? He included Brian Roberts just because Larry Bigbie said that Roberts said he tried it once. How does that get mention but a player buying them doesn't? If Mitchell was such a man of high integrity he would have included this player's story in his report.
Also, did I miss something? Was Mitchell put in charge of deciding who's innocent and who's guilty in all of this? Who appointed him judge? I thought he was supposed to serve the role of independent fact-finder? It was his job to report his findings. If he found out that a player purchased PEDs, that should have gone into his report. No question. The name should have been listed and his story should have been told, much like the other 90 or so names that were mentioned. Why not put in there the person's name and the "evidence" he presented to show he didn't use it? What possible evidence could this person have anyway? Did he have the unused HGH lying around his house? "Substantial and corroborated evidence." That sounds like hard proof. I say it's BS. The guy probably walked in said, "I threw it away. Here's my wife. Ask her. She'll tell you." I think everyone has a right to know the details of this.
Here's what else I don't get. It's been widely reported that the only active players known to have met with Senator Mitchell were Jason Giambi and Frank Thomas. This is what everyone was led to believe even after the report was released. Why did it take until 2 days after the report was released for this to come out? Shouldn't this have been made public on Wednesday? I find it extremely odd that the first anyone hears of this is on Saturday? Come on. I'm not buying it. I'm not picking up what's being put down.
I thought Senator Mitchell was a man of great character with unquestioned integrity? Am I the only one that thinks Mitchell's integrity should be called into question by omitting this from his report? If Mitchell is a man of such high integrity he'll do what's right and release this name, like he should have done in the first place. I could really care less who it is too. It could be Jeter for all I care. Let the speculation begin and let the rumors fly.
I'm telling you, something is definitely rotten in Denmark. Somebody has to get to the bottom of this.
Friday, December 14, 2007
So I've had a day to digest the Mitchell "Report" and my head is still spinning. I've spent a large part of the past 2 days watching ESPN, checking out various blogs and columns, and listening to MLB on XM and pretty much everyone has a different opinion and a different take on this whole debacle. Some see it as a banner day for the sport. Some wonder what the heck the point of this all was? Some are glad names were named. Some don't see the point in naming names. Some are taking every word of the "report" to be fact. Others see it as a bunch of hogwash and hearsay. If you read my entry yesterday, you know I thought it was a waste of time, money, and it didn't accomplish much except telling us what we already knew. Steroids in baseball is a problem. Well duh.
Like every Yankee fan out there, I want to believe that the allegations against Clemens and Pettitte are completely and utterly false. And for all I know they are. There's no solid proof anywhere that either of them ever used anything. All we have is the word of a guy pressured to give up information to stay out of prison. In my opinion, that's not a lot to go on. If you were to put me on the spot and ask me if I honestly think the 2 are guilty of using, sadly, I have to say yes. At first, I thought no way. And then as I said yesterday, David Justice opened up his mouth.
Justice was a guest on "Yankees Hot Stove" Thursday night and he spoke out about his innocence. He told a story about how McNamee approached him about using HGH, put HGH in Justice's locker, and Justice gave it back because he couldn't use needles. This was the first time I ever heard a player openly admit that HGH was in the clubhouse. Hearing this makes me wonder and unfortunately it makes me think McNamee is being somewhat truthful in his statements. After all, it was Clemens who brought McNamee with him to New York. Does anyone have any thoughts on Justice's comments? Am I reading too much into them? I'm looking for someone to try and sway me away from my current train of thought, but so far, everyone I mention this to has been inclined to agree.
Sadly, at this point, I have to believe that Clemens was doping. He's come out and denied the allegations but I don't believe him at this time. Is it possible Clemens played cleaned? Yes. And if he's truly innocent, as he says he is, the only course of action he has in my opinion is to file a lawsuit against McNamee and fight this to the end. Or maybe even take a lie detector test. As far as I'm concerned if his only response ends up being a public statement denying the allegations, well that's not enough for me. If you truly didn't do it, do what's right, and fight to clear your name. That's what I would do if I were in his shoes.
So what do you think about Clemens? Do you believe him when he proclaims he's innocent?
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I still have 2 more box sets to give away. This contest is suggested by the winner of the 1st contest, Dominick. In short, I need you to tell me "how much you love the Yankees." As Dominick suggested, "You can collect stories of the craziest things fans have done to publicly declare their love for the NY Yankees i.e. tattoos, painting their car in pinstripes, canceling a wedding to watch the playoffs, whatever. You can then sift through the stories and come up with and publish on this blog what you think is the best story and give the winner the DVDs."
I'm not looking for much. It can be as simple as a few sentences. The contest will close Saturday afternoon around 12pm EST. The winner will be picked by my wife and her parents. Don't be shy. In all likelihood, there won't be many entries. You can enter by e-mailing me the "story" and by leaving a comment that you entered. My e-mail address is in the upper left part of this blog.
Be warned, I may ask for proof.
PS- I pay for shipping so it's only going to be sent within the continental US
What kind of baseball blogger would I be if I didn't chime in with my 2 cents about the Mitchell Report? I feel funny even calling it a "report" as it seems like a summation of what we already knew, and that's that MLB has/had a steroid problem. I'm glad it took 2 years and cost a lot of money to tell us that. What did the "report" really accomplish other than dragging some names through the mud?
After reading through the "report," I'm not shocked to see that most of the players named had connection to the Yankees. The whole "report" was based on the coerced testimony of two New York based individuals. It makes total sense that it focused on players with NY ties. I find it hard to believe that they couldn't find anyone in any other major league city that had some kind of knowledge on the subject. The "report" wasn't comprehensive. It didn't include anything about players who've tested positive for steroids. Didn't 7% of MLBers test positive a few years back? Where were those names? I still fail to realize what was accomplished by including names? If anyone knows, let me know.
The biggest names were without a doubt Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens. One arguably the best pitcher of all-time. The other a Yankee fan favorite. Both with a reputation forever tarnished because of the "testimony" of a guy who on several occasions denied that he ever gave Clemens or Pettitte performance-enhancing drugs. A guy who only changed his story once threatened with federal criminal prosecution. Much like ex-Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, a guy with a lot to lose by staying quiet and a lot to gain by signing like a canary. Clemens has already denied the allegations. And originally, I totally sided with Clemens and Pettitte, and the David Justice opened his mouth.
I'm not sure if anyone watched "Yankees Hot Stove" on YES tonight. They had David Justice, a player also named in the "report," on to offer up his story. He denied ever meeting Radomski, saying he wouldn't know him if he walked up to him today and said hey. He did however tell an interesting story about his interactions with Brian McNamee. He said right after he joined the Yankees he was approached by McNamee, who offered up some HGH to help rehab an injury. Justice said he didn't know what HGH was and wasn't sure. Per Justice, McNamee said he'd leave it in his locker and Justice could use it if he wanted to. Justice then went on to say that when he saw it in his locker and saw that he needed to use a needle, he said, "No way. Anyone that knows me knows that I don't do needles." Basically, Justice is admitting that HGH was in the Yankees clubhouse and McNamee was the one that had the access to it. I don't think Justice has any reason to make this up. Clemens brought in McNamee. McNamee had HGH. McNamee alleges he gave HGH to Clemens. Pettitte is Roger's hetero-lifemate. And now Jay (that's me) isn't so sure anymore. I want to believe these guys, but I don't know what to think. Justice's revelation that he saw HGH in the Yankees clubhouse has me wondering. And I'm not naive. I totally knew steroids and HGH were present in the clubhouse before Justice's admission that it was in his locker. It's a safe bet that it was, and probably still is, in every team's clubhouse. It's just hearing a player admit to it. That changes everything.
In the end though I'm still not sure what to believe. I don't put much stock in the "he said she said" BS that the "report" is full of. Show me a conclusive positive test. That's what I want to see. But for now my head is spinning. I don't want to be a hypocrite and speak ill of Barry Bond and give anyone named in the report a pass. I do think Bonds is totally different than Clemens. There's more hard evidence against Bonds than anyone named in the "report." As I mentioned that whole report is "hearsay" and in my opinion, is based on a lot of circumstantial evidence. A copy of a personal check to me isn't proof when MLBers give clubhouse attendants personal checks all the time. Quite often I hear for a lot of money. I also can't put much stock in the "coerced testimony" of Radomski and McNamee. They've got a lot to gain by running their yaps.
All in all the "report" is lacking and I think Senator Mitchell knows it. Poorly done. It accomplished absolutely nothing other than wasting a lot of time and a lot of money. I think the same would have been accomplished had the names been left out. I don't think anyone should have been mentioned without hard proof. Let the lawsuits begin. If the guy is truly innocent, he has to sue. it's really the only course of action they can take. Do nothing and to me, you're admitting your guilt. You don't let your reputation and career go down the tubes on a lie.
It's your move Rocket.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
And the winner of the 3rd Yankeeography DVD Box Set is contestant #14, William Mehlman. 15 #s went into a hat and the wife picked out #14. Thanks to everyone for entering and congrats to William.
I still have 2 more box sets to give away. I will probably start the 4th contest tomorrow. It will be the contest suggested by the winner of the 1st contest Dominick. In short, I need you to tell me "how much you love the Yankees." As Dominick suggested, "You can collect stories of the craziest things fans have done to publicly declare their love for the NY Yankees i.e. tattoos, painting their car in pinstripes, canceling a wedding to watch the playoffs, whatever. You can then sift through the stories and come up with and publish on this blog what you think is the best story and give the winner the DVDs."
I'll probably go live with the contest tomorrow night so start thinking.
Monday, December 10, 2007
**12/10- just re-posting
I've still got 3 Yankeeography DVD Box Sets to giveaway, again courtesy of the good people at the A&E Store. This contest is easy. It's your basic random drawing giveaway. All you have to do is leave your name in a comment on this post and I'll draw 1 winner from the entries.
The contest will close and the winner will be drawn on Tuesday night around 8pm EST. Again all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. One entry per person, no previous winners. Good luck.
Friday, December 7, 2007
**updated on 12/7 @ 10am - Contest closes in 7 hours.
**updated on 12/5 @ 2:45pm- Still plenty of time to enter!!
**updated on 12/4 @ 10:45am- I made a correction to question # 4. it was meant to be what 4 managers have 1000 wins with the team, not 3. And I can't post comments from work so I wanted to update that Beth did not get them all correct so the contest is still going.
While we deliberate over who won the 1st DVD box set (coutresy of the A&E Store), I figured what better time to start the contest to give away the 2nd of 5 Yankeeography DVD Box Sets.
This time it's a trivia contest. The first person to correctly answer all 10 questions wins the set. In the event no one gets all 10 correct, the person with the most correct will win. in the event of a tie, the person who submitted their answers first will win. Deadline to get the answers in will be Friday @ 5pm EST, but the contest will end when someone gets them all right. 1 entry per person. Please e-mail your answers to me using the e-mail address listed under "e-mail me."
1)In 2005, 26 of A-Rod's 48 HRs came at Yankee Stadium, breaking the franchise record of 19 by a right-handed hitter at home. Name the duo that held the previous mark?
2)In 2005, A-Rod became the youngest player to hit 400 HRs. Whose record did he surpass?
3)In 2005, Joe Torre became only the 4th manager in Major League history to win 90-or-more games nine times in a span of 10 seasons. Name the other 3.
4)Name the 4 Yankees managers with over 1000 wins with the team?
5)Name the Yankee player who led the AL with a 20-game road hitting streak in 2005?
6)Hideki Matusi's 330 RBI in his 1st 3 seasons (2003-05) is the second highest total of any Yankees player over the first 3 seasons in the major leagues. Who holds the team mark for the most RBI is their first 3 seasons?
7)Who holds the Yankees franchise record for most sacrifice flies?
8)Who holds the franchise record for most appearances by a pitcher over a 2 year period?
9)Who is the Yankees all-time leader in sacrifice hits?
10)Who holds the franchise record for drawing the most intentional walks?
Thanks for playing. Keep checking back as I have 3 more sets to giveaway.
Congrats to Redsunkktt for winning the 2nd of 5 Yankeeography DVD Box Sets. He correctly answered 7.5 of the 10 trivia questions below. I've still got 3 more sets to give away. The next giveaway will start sometime tomorrow, so check back. Anyone can win this one. See below to the answers to the trivia questions. The questions and answers were courtesy of my 2007 Yankees desktop calendar.
1)In 2005, 26 of A-Rod's 48 HRs came at Yankee Stadium, breaking the franchise record of 19 by a right-handed hitter at home. Name the duo that help the previous mark? Joe DiMaggio (1937) and Gary Sheffield (2004)
2)In 2005, A-Rod became the youngest player to hit 400 HRs. Whose record did he surpass? Ken Griffey, Jr.
3)In 2005, Joe Torre became only the 4th manager in Major League history to win 90-or-more games nine times in a span of 10 seasons. Name the other 3. John McGraw, Casey Stengel, Bobby Cox
4)Name the 4 Yankees managers with over 1000 wins with the team? Joe McCarthy (1460), Joe Torre (1173), Casey Stengel (1149) and Miller Huggins (1067)
5)Name the Yankee player who led the AL with a 20-game road hitting streak in 2005? Robinson Cano
6)Hideki Matusi's 330 RBI in his 1st 3 seasons (2003-05) is the second highest total of any Yankees player over the first 3 seasons in the major leagues. Who holds the team mark for the most RBI is their first 3 seasons? Joe DiMaggio (432, 1936-38)
7)Who holds the Yankees franchise record for most sacrifice flies? Don Mattingly (96)
8)Who holds the franchise record for most appearances by a pitcher over a 2 year period? Tom Gordon (159)
9)Who is the Yankees all-time leader in sacrifice hits? Wally Pipp (226)
10)Who holds the franchise record for drawing the most intentional walks? Don Mattingly (136)
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
The vote is in and the winner of the 1st Yankeeography DVD Box Set giveaway contest is.....drum roll please ..... baruddaduddaduddaduddaduddaduddaduddada .... DJL804. Congratulations. The wife and in-laws were split between 2 of your suggestions. My mother in-law was a fan of the "favorite Yankee memory" contest, and my wife and her dad liked the "how much do I love the Yankees" idea. So that will be a later contest. Though I'm not exactly sure how to tell that everyone is honest with their "story." I suppose there'd need to be some form of verifiable proof.
I don't want to discount the suggestion from Redsunkktt. It was one of my favorites. At first, they weren't sure what it was, so I showed them the pictures I made of Manjaya. They thought it would be funny, but I think they thought it'd be too difficult for everyone to do. I remember how hard it was to do those 2 pictures of Manjaya being a Photoshop newbie. I think that led them away from the selection.
Thanks to both of you for your suggestions. Don't forget that there's still 4 sets to giveaway. Currently there's a trivia contest going on. Still plenty of time to get your answers in.
DJL, you've got mail.
Monday, December 3, 2007
They're reporting on XM that Andrew Eugene Pettitte is back in the Bronx, foregoing retirement for another go 'round with the boys!
Grey skies are going to clear up. Put on a happy face!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
The good people at A&E have given me 5 copies of the new Yankeeography Box Set to give away here on the blog. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a picture of the box set itself.
Now if you're a serious Yankees fan like me, you want this set! It includes 34 episodes, 10 of which are only available in this set. Some of my favorite Yankeeography editions are of Thurman Munson and Mariano Rivera. I love it when Mariano is talking about playing ball as a youth in Panama and using milk cartons for gloves. And yes, I'll admit it. The Munson one makes me cry. I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. If you've never plopped down in front of the TV and checked out an episode, you've been missing out. There's a reason why the series has won 11 Emmy Awards.
And I've got 5, count 'em 5, free copies of the box set to giveaway! I opened up an e-mail one day and it basically read "how'd you like to give away some Yankeeography sets on your blog?" I didn't really need to think about my answer. My only dilemma is figuring out the best way to give them out. Trivia contest? Random drawing? Best caption for a picture contest? I'm open to ideas. Now, I'll probably do several different contests as to not give them all away at once. And I'll even go as far as paying for the shipping to you. I know I get a lot of readers from other countries but I don't think I can go as far as shipping them anywhere outside of the continental US.
Here's the contest for the 1st giveaway: come up with the best giveaway contest. Leave your suggestion for a contest in the comments section of this entry and whoever comes up with the idea that best strikes my fancy wins a set. Sounds pretty simple. To be objective, as to not show any kind of favoritism to anyone, I'll probably have my wife and her family pick which they like best. I'll leave this contest open until my son goes to sleep tomorrow night (which will be around 8pm EST). Once he's asleep, I'll have my fam review the ideas and then post the winner's name, and likely use their idea for the next contest. And I suppose that multiple entries are fine. I'll be checking back between now and then, so leave any questions in the comments section as well.
Enjoy your day!
PS- DON'T TRADE PHIL HUGHES!!! I'll have more on that later.